Holiday expert reveals the best budget tips to follow for cheap Easter holidays

Holidaying towards the end of the school holidays can be more affordable

Vicky Shaw
Sunday 03 March 2024 11:41 GMT
People enjoying the warm weather on Bournemouth beach over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend
People enjoying the warm weather on Bournemouth beach over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend (PA)

Many will be looking to book an Easter break where your money will go further this year.

Some will be tempted by a staycation closer to home, which could involve packing a bucket and spade for a seaside break or heading for the bright lights of a city you’ve always wanted to explore.

If a staycation is on the cards, Bev Dumbleton, chief operating officer at Sykes Holiday Cottages, suggests saving money by swapping well-trodden tourist hotpots for lesser-known alternatives.

Dumbleton says Sykes’ own weekly rental prices data suggests that locations such as Holmfirth and Staithes in Yorkshire, and Blaenau Ffestiniog in Gwynedd, Wales, often offer particularly good value.

She adds: “Savvy travellers can also look out for areas with low-cost activities and days out, be it exploring Blackpool’s numerous attractions, or getting lost in the Welsh valleys with hikes or adventures.”

Two men on a walk through a woodland area in Northumberland, North East England (Getty Images)

While there may be last-minute bargains, Dumbleton says that booking earlier could help to guarantee your top choice.

“Late deals will of course crop up, but if you wait too long you might miss out on some of the more affordable options that will likely be particularly popular this year,” she says.

Alternatively, being flexible and open-minded about your destination could also help.

“If you’re open to where and when you travel, keep your eyes peeled for discounts or offers,” advises Dumbleton.

Families with school-age children often see prices surge during busy holiday periods.

But there may still be ways to find cheaper options.

“If you can’t travel outside of school holidays, then keep an eye out for mid-week breaks which tend to be cheaper,” Dumbleton suggests.

“Holidaying towards the end of the school holidays can also be more affordable.”

It could also pay to bear in mind the timings of school holidays in the location that you’re planning to travel to, in case they slightly differ from where you live.

Aerial Views over Mawgan Porth Beach, Cornwall on a sunny June day (Getty Images)

If you’re considering a holiday rental, Dumbleton suggests teaming up with family members or friends to book a bigger property and split the cost.

“This will likely be a much cheaper option than individual hotel rooms or multiple holiday lets, while also making it much more fun,” she says.

“And if you’ve got pets, also look out for any pet-friendly accommodation options. That way you can avoid paying for any kennels or catteries whilst away – and it means you can bring any furry friends along with you.”

Going self-catering can also shave costs down further.

Dumbleton suggests: “Take it in turns to be chef, cutting back on the need to go out for dinner every night, while also saving on the costs of breakfast and lunch by preparing it yourself.”

If you’re travelling overseas at Easter, there’s some good news from M&S Travel Money, which said in February that sterling has made gains in value over the past year against many currencies used in popular overseas destinations.

Sterling had made gains against the Euro, the Thai baht and the Japanese yen, as well as the US, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand dollars, M&S Travel Money recently found. Currency movements fluctuate, so make sure you keep up-to-date with the latest rates.

Give yourself plenty of time to plan buying your currency and shop around for the best deals, rather than leaving it until the last minute at the airport.

And don’t forget to factor in all the costs when setting your holiday budget that may be overlooked, such as snacks, transport and tipping.

Also, to avoid a costly mistake, there are also some insurance pitfalls that should be avoided.

Make sure you shop around for the best deal to suit your needs and remember to take out insurance as soon as you book. This will protect you if something goes awry with your plans before you travel.

Lucie Hart, policy adviser, general insurance, at the Association of British Insurers (ABI) says: “The first thing you should do after booking your holiday is to take out travel insurance. This will ensure that you are covered immediately if the worst happens and you have to cancel your trip. Travel insurance is not a ‘nice to have’ but essential. Not least as it will cover the potentially jaw-droppingly high costs of needing any emergency medical treatment while abroad.

“Shopping around can help you get the right policy for your needs at the most competitive price, but we always recommend not basing decisions on price alone. You should also always remember to disclose any pre-existing medical conditions.”

Hart adds: “Travel insurance for overseas trips is designed to cover your travels starting from and finishing in the UK. While it may be possible to buy specialist post-departure travel insurance when you are already abroad, it is always best to play it safe and buy your cover before departing.”

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